1 in 5 Parents Don't Read to their Kids

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1 in 5 Parents Don't Read to their Kids
A study has revealed that almost 1 in 5 parents do not see the benefit of reading to a child before they are at an age when they can sit up or talk and 1 in 4 parents struggle with reading and so do not read to their children at all.

Over 640 UK parents were surveyed, with children under 5 years of age, revealing the amount of time they spend reading with their children per week. The following results were found.....

Bullet 34.4% spent no time reading to their children at all
Bullet 50.5% of parents spent 0.5 hours -1 hour reading to their children each week
Bullet 11.2% spent 2-3 hours reading to their children each week
Bullet 3.9% spent 3.5 hours or more reading to their children each week

Therefore, over 50% of parents only spend a maximum of 8.5 minutes reading to their children each day and, more surprisingly, over 34% of parents spend no time reading to their children at all. Only 3.9% of parents spend the recommended maximum 3.5 hours reading to their children each week, an average of 30 minutes every day.

Dilip Sinha from All Top Books comments;
'I am a passionate believer that reading to a young child, no matter how young they are, will help them grow, develop and bond with their parents. To discover that such a high percentage of parents don't read to their children at all is really disappointing; reading to a child is like opening a door to a big and exciting world, allowing them to hear sounds and see pictures that they may not get to see otherwise. I have known children as young as 4 months old to show an interest in books, and children who cannot yet talk to make a 'moo' noise when they see a picture of a cow; for so many parents to think it is pointless to read to a child before they can talk is very concerning.'

The results highlight the factors preventing parents from spending more time reading to their children. Almost half are too busy with work and family commitments to read to their children any more than they already do, but all of the respondents wished they could spend more time reading to their children, with one participant commenting, 'I finish work, pick up the kids, clean the house, cook the dinner, bath them and then they're asleep; If I attempted to read to them after all that, I'd be asleep as well!'.

Despite proven statistics, showing that parental involvement with reading from a very young age, could stimulate and develop a baby's brain, 19.6% of parents do not see the point of reading to a small child, and 24.8% of parents do not like reading; 9.9% of which admitted to have difficulty reading, and so did not read to their children at all. In total, a potential 44.4% of young children, not only miss out on the educational side of reading but also the interaction and excitement of their favourite voice reading them a fun and exciting story.

More significantly, 18.9% of these children were 3 to 4 years of age and consequently should be preparing to cope with the demands of their formal literacy education; their peers are likely to already have a favourite book, a preference for certain pictures and an understanding of numbers, letters and colours. Only about 1 in 17 parents felt satisfied with the amount of time they spent reading with their children, all of which spent at least 2 hours per week, approximately 17 minutes reading with their children per day.

June 2008

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